Gardeners only like to see mushrooms on their plates at meal time. Finding them on the lawn can only yield frustration.
In some cases, mushrooms are not always a bad thing to appear in your grass. They are nature’s disposers, transforming organic material into healthy nutrients that are returned to your lawn and soil. But, while some mushroom varieties help improve the soil, others are harmful to your yard.
If you are like most gardeners, the appearance of mushrooms on your lawn is a nuisance, a blemish, and poses a danger to pets or children. So, if they materialize overnight on your lawn, how do you get rid of them? What can you do to keep your green grass pristine and fungi-free?
Here is everything you need to know about getting rid of mushrooms and how they got there in the first place!
Why the Mushrooms Are There?
One night you are staring pridefully at your gorgeous lawn, and the next day you notice the spots of mushrooms growing in your yard. Mushrooms are extremely effective when it comes to growth times. Some can appear in as little as twenty-four hours! But, why did they come in the first place?
Mushrooms appear when:
- Mushroom spores have spread.
- Your lawn is overflowing with organic matter.
- The moisture level of your lawn is high (often due to evening watering, overwatering, or wet weather conditions).
Whatever the reason for their appearance, these fungi arrive to help break down the organic material in your lawn. A natural occurrence, but an annoying one for those gardeners wanting a lush and full, green lawn.
How to Get Rid of and Prevent Mushrooms in Your Lawn
Do NOT Mow
Unlike some weeds you can mow over to reduce their likelihood of spreading, mushrooms are the opposite. If you don’t first remove them before mowing, the blade on your mower might actually help the mushroom spread its spores by scattering pieces of the fungi to other areas on your lawn. When this happens, it causes even more mushrooms to pop up. Therefore, to isolate the affected area, remove mushrooms before mowing!
Cut Them Out
Using your favorite garden or kitchen knife, an easy and effective way to get rid of mushrooms on your lawn is to cut them out. Cut the mushroom down deep into the earth around the stalk and remove as much of the root system as possible. Once it is removed, place the cut mushroom in a bucket or bag while you tend to the others, leaving removed mushrooms resting on the grass may provide the opportunity for the spreading of spores.
Whenever you see mushrooms growing on your lawn, it is best to cut them out as soon as possible. Unfortunately, popping off the caps of the mushroom is not effective in entirely removing it, and a cap-less mushroom will grow back.
Rake and Trim
The damp ground is a mushroom’s best friend. Reduce constant dampness, and mushrooms will be less likely to appear!
To reduce the reappearance of mushrooms on your lawn, create a space they will not be drawn to. Reduce the amount of shade that covers your lawn by trimming back trees and bushes, allowing more sun to reach your grass. This way, during extended periods of wet weather, there are more opportunities for the soil to dry, reducing the likelihood of mushrooms.
Another way to get rid of excessive moisture in your lawn is to rake up any dead grass or natural mulch lingering. These added layers of grass, leaves, or branches help retain moisture in your lawn, which is a good thing to promote a healthy lawn and a desirable home for mushrooms. Clean up any organic material or old mulch that breaks down, removing the reason for mushrooms to develop!
Aerate Your Lawn
Mushrooms are drawn to moist conditions and thrive in soils heavy with water. One way to prevent your lawn from growing mushrooms in the months to come is to aerate it. Aeration is a process that opens your lawn through small holes drilled into the soil (perforation), allowing air to flow into the ground.
This process allows nutrients, light, and water to sink deeper into your yard, reaching the plant and grass-root systems down below. Do this to improve the drainage of your soil, improve the health of your lawn, and prevent fungi growth!
Use Fungicide or Start Fresh
If your lawn is overtaken by mushrooms, choose a more impactful approach to ridding your lawn of these fungi. One solution is to use a fungicide that will kill the mushrooms directly.
There are plenty of specialized mushroom fungicides available for purchase, or you can try making your own. Some homemade fungicides include spraying a vinegar and water mixture on the place where mushrooms were just cut. Other solutions use baking soda and water or dish soap and water sprayed on the mushrooms.
A more natural method of getting rid of mushrooms on your lawn is to start fresh. Dig out where the mushrooms are thriving or reappearing and re-seed or re-sod that portion of your lawn. Once your new lawn is planted, maintain your yard and provide ideal growing conditions for grass!
Keep An Eye On Your Lawn
The lawn is the pearl in the crown of any garden. After you put so much effort into making it look beautiful, the last thing you want to find is pesky mushrooms growing on top of it. Even though some mushrooms can improve your soil’s condition, most of them do more harm than good. That’s why it is crucial to be prepared and know what to do when they appear.
When you spot mushrooms on your precious lawn, do not mow before removing them, but make sure you know how to cut them down to fully get rid of the root system first! Rake up any dead grass to promote a healthy lawn, and aerate it to improve the drainage of your soil. If these natural methods won’t work, reach for some fungicides!
Let us know if you have other methods of removing mushrooms from your lawn, and as always, please share!